Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Your patio or mine?

At the beginning of February, I will be heading to Panama again for two weeks. I can't wait. Global warming has forgotten to include Ontario, Canada, it its game plan, and as a result we are freezing our buns off here. We have had a ridiculous amount of snow, unusually cold temperatures, and there is, so far at least, no let-up. At least in Panama I'll be warm for a couple of weeks.

I am discovering, in booking flights and hotels and car rentals, that everyone is a little friendlier and a little more flexible with pricing and making deals. Businesses are hurting, folks, and they are beginning to realize that their customer is truly their most valuable asset. They are beginning, at least in a small way, to act accordingly.

In my Canadian office, every time I have a meeting with one or more of my management staff, I sense some level of worry among other staff members. I reassure everyone that we are a solid company, are in good shape financially, and that no-one is going to lose their job, but people are nervous. Jobs are scarce. I am grateful that we don't have to worry too much about the financial mess out there but I sure wouldn't ever want to become complacent.

There appears to be widespread hope (even in Canada) that somehow President Obama will use his superpowers and superior intellect to solve the worlds' problems. Don't count on it. A mess is a mess and will stay a mess until someone cleans it up. Throwing more money at problems will only delay the inevitable and nothing will be solved. Obama is smart, but he isn't necessarily wise. There is a big difference. Part of wisdom is being able to recognize what hasn't worked and to do away with it, or at least not repeat it. Wisdom often means acting not on expedience, but on the knowledge that it takes time and effort to build anything useful and lasting. Obama has no experience, has never done anything even remotely useful, and is surrounding himself with many 'more-of-the-same' type of politicians and advisers. And no, McCain wouldn't have done any better.

What to do? Move to Panama, friends. Live economically, relax, let the world go by and enjoy yourself. And. . . I can even help you with a place to live, at our Roca Milagro project. You can enjoy our community of freedom lovers and watch from afar as much of the world as we have known it collapses around us. One of my partner's wondered once if our project might not be sort of a Galt's Gulch. She might be on to something, especially in light of what is happening around the world.

So, will we share a drink together on your patio or mine?


  1. Oh God, that sounds inviting!
    I've been getting a lot of recommendations of Panama as being #2 on the list of American expat faves (the Philippines are still holding #1), and with money leaving the country like rats from a sinking ship and ten grand the equivalent of a retirement fortune there, it's really tempting.
    Granted, Barack Obama is no messiah, but probably tops among the lot of blue-ribbon dumbasses the "two party" allowed to slip through. The best we can hope for is that he stabilizes the condition, and doesn't make things worse, but after 8 years of George W. Gump, I'm praying for the new guy.

    Don't be real shocked if a week from now, the idioTVision news starts talking US out of the recession its talked us into for over a year!

  2. I'll save you a lawn chair and pour you a drink, Ted.

    Yes, there are a lot of Americans in Panama. There are also a disproportionate number (measured by comparing Canadian/American populations) Canadians there, especially in the west end of Panama where we are.

  3. I'm with you. Keep living, live modestly, enjoy the real pleasures of life in the form of dear ones and the lovely change of seasons. We're going to have to save ourselves, one at a time, each for himself. It can be done, though.

  4. Yes it can be done, phlegmfatale, and it will be done. I am already seeing signs that at least some people are taking things seriously enough to want to change the inexorable decline of the United States into poverty and irrelevance. Most, however, are waiting for the Great Obama to save them. It will be a long wait.

    Here in Canada, things aren't, so far, quite as bad. Still, factories are closing or moving and everyone is cutting back on expenses, readying for worse times.

    Time will tell where this all leads.

  5. Nicole,
    It'd be nice to know how that fits in the context of our dialogue.
    You still there, Sieg? Haven't heard from you in a while, and hope you're still enjoying that balmy Panama weather!

  6. Hi, Ted: I'm still here, sort of. Back in Canada after a couple of very hectic weeks in Panama, trying to get caught up with the inevitable paperwork and other stuff. Damn cold here in Ontario, snowing again today. Panama is looking better all the time.

  7. Right about now, Atavist, Panama sounds perfect. Maybe someday.. maybe someday..

    I'm back.. and I'm catching up on you. Seems you've been away a while, too. ;)

  8. Always nice to hear from you Penny. One of these days, I am hoping to start both reading and writing blog posts again. Right now I am way too busy for an old guy like me. Aren't we supposed to un-complicate our lives as we get older?

  9. Uncomplicating your life is a lifetime project. Ex: I no more got rid of all my surplus junk when I inherited all of Justin's (isn't that "inheritance" thing supposed to work the other way around?
    Oh well, it's spring time, I'm cleaning house again, and the giant box of donation stuff is filling up fast!

  10. I have definitely not found that growing older leads to less complication. lol! I find easier ways to learn and retain new lessons, and I find that bouncing back from unpleasant events or circumstances has been well practiced. But as for life around us being uncomplicated... I'd never want to be 17 again, but boy was I ever wrong about thinking that my world back then was such a complex, ethereal, struggling enigma. lol!

    Looking forward to reading you again, soon. :)

  11. Ted and Penny, I am often bemused by my son who at age 16 thinks he has this incredibly complicated life. We know better, don't we? And some he he will know better too.

  12. Just tell him to wait another few years, and he'll find out what "complicated" is.
    It's been my experience the more time passes and birthday cake candles accumulate, the easier it is to slack off. In itself, that ain't so bad, it's just that you don't accomplish anything when it becomes a habit...That sucks.
    Good to see it's not a habit you acquired.